Sorry the weather wasn't what you hoped for. This is a magnificent location, though somewhat difficult to capture in photographs. I have been working in this place for more than ten years and of course that helps - I mean being there a lot. I do keep going back - in fact I am leading a three-day workshop there from January 14-16. (Anyone who is interested should go to my website www.visiongallery.com
and click on "workshops" - http://visiongallery.com/index.php?tPath=1_3_396
I've attached a couple images from work I did there for my Celestial Nights series and a couple other landscapes, more recent, all from the crater (machtesh) - as you can see from the night photographs, the skies were clearer than you experienced.
I'm happy to provide information for you or anyone who wants information about this area - it's well worth spending some time there photographing.